Peek at My Week :: Shearing Sheep

I grew up in cities, not always very big cities, but bigger cities.  Outside of Boston, Honolulu, Orlando, those type of cities!  Well, about 10 years ago Josh and I moved to a small town in Florida.  We were following Josh to his job and didn’t really think much about what type of life small town living had in store for us.  This little small town has been perfect for us in so many ways.  It is slow paced, quiet, and friendly…just the type of lifestyle perfect for raising our little family!

This week we were able to taste a little more small town life when our friends who own sheep offered to show us how to shear sheep!  I assumed we’d just watch how sheep get a hair cut.  Nope.  These friends let all the kids who came to watch try their hand at shearing the sheep and we are going to dye some of the wool to make bracelets (after the wool is cleaned)!  And you know what, Bella (the sheep we sheared) looks pretty darn cute with her new do!

Sheep :: Dandelion Drift Sheep :: Dandelion Drift Sheep :: Dandelion Drift Sheep :: Dandelion Drift Sheep :: Dandelion Drift

Work in Progress :: Sewing with Rayon Challis

Allie over at Indiesew recently wrote an article on rayon challis, leaving me itching to buy some and sew with it.  When it comes to my own clothes, I usually prefer to sew with solid colors.  I know on this little computer screen prints are more fun, but really solid colors are more my thing, more what I reach for.  So I started my little hunt for solid colored rayon challis.  Rachael, over at imagine gnats, recently started stocking rayon challis, and in solid colors, so I snatched up three yards right away and was amazed when the fabric came in the mail.

Have you ever sewed with rayon challis?  Have you ever felt it?  It is so flowey and smooth.  The best description I could give you of rayon challis is that it’s like a liquid, but I know it’s a solid.  The three yards I purchased of this fabric was destined to become a southport dress, in the long maxi length (Kelli from True Bias just released this pattern).  I cut out the pattern a couple days ago, and finished sewing the bodice together this morning.

Sourthport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Allie’s tips on sewing with rayon challis are perfect.  I sewed with a brand new needle, to make sure I didn’t cause any runs in the fabric.  There were times when I was sewing that I was worried that the rayon stretched out and lost it’s shape, but I quickly steamed the fabric with my iron, and the fabric snapped right back to where it should be!  I can’t wait to finish up this dress and share the results!  And I now want to have a whole closet full of clothes sewn out of rayon challis!  Dreamy stuff!

Peek at my Week :: Goodbye First Pet

My mother in law is a woman who has a ton of neat traditions.  She buys the kids new Easter outfits every year (taking requests on colors and styles), she keeps the grand kids for a week each summer (camp grandma) and she buys each grandchild their first pet when they turn seven.

DSC_0346

Sweet Pea’s first pet was a guinea pig, Patches (back when Sweet Pea was seven she spelled it Patchis!).  Sweet Pea was determined when picking out her guinea pig.  She knew exactly which one she wanted, and exactly what she would name this new pet!  She lovingly learned how to care for this new animal and was such a good caretaker.  This week, Patches passed peacefully in her sleep.  It was such a hard and emotional morning when we found her.  We had Patches for nearly four years and were smitten with her!  Sweet Pea even had a guinea pig themed birthday party when she turned nine!

DSC_0359

Here’s the best picture I could find of Patches…back when Bubba had long blonde hair!

Work in Progress :: Bellows Swimsuit Pattern

Hey all!  I just wanted to pop in and say happy Wednesday!

Bellows Swimsuit Pattern :: Dandelion Drift

This little swimsuit pattern of mine is plugging along.  I have loved, loved, loved working on this, and my girl wore her swimsuit to the community pool this week!  It was an awesome feeling to see her wearing something that I have made, made from the core.  I designed it, I fabric shopped, I sewed it….ah what a rewarding feeling!

As a mom, it’s not often that I do things for myself, and I am so glad that this time I did.  Designing a sewing pattern has given me an opportunity to exercise my brain, learn new skills, and push my creative thinking to the limits!

I’m not sure how other pattern designers work, but this swimsuit has evolved.  First my idea was a one piece suit.  It’s what Sweet Pea reaches for the most, but I had a different vision.  So that one piece suit was chopped and became a two piece, with very high waisted bottoms and a sweet v-neck peplum top.  I cannot wait to share more details with you, but for now I just wanted to say I am so glad to have leaped out onto this creative journey!

Oh and the suit has a name, the Bellows Swimsuit (named after a beach I grew up visiting)!

 

Peek at My Week :: Camping

Camping :: Dandelion Drift Camping :: Dandelion Drift Camping :: Dandelion Drift Camping :: Dandelion Drift The other weekend (really two weekends ago) we took a little camping trip with our friends.  Josh and I, late one night as we were falling asleep on our air mattress, talked about what it is about camping that we love so much.  It’s simple.  Camping is.  There’s nothing complicated or rushed about camping.  We get to escape our hectic, overcrowded houses.  We leave behind our busy, filled to the brim schedules to just go out into this amazing world and be.  We get to be, without a worry about what’s on our to do list.  Camping allows us to slow down, enjoy the world surrounding us, enjoy the people and company surrounding us.  Do you think I could bring a little bit of that camping vibe into my daily life?

Marigold Peplum

Hey all!  It’s been quiet here on the blog, but man oh man has life been busy lately!  We have been spring breaking, growing our little zoo here, and just in general feeling pretty darn tired every night when it is time to sleep!

Marigold Peplum :: Dandelion DriftMarigold Peplum :: Dandelion Drift

I’ve been sewing a lot lately and have a bit of a back log of projects to share with you.  I’ll start with this white shirt, it’s the Marigold pattern by Blank Slate Patterns, which has so many options, but I chose to sew it with cap sleeves in the peplum length.  I debated what fabric to sew this pattern with, but landed on the lightest little Robert Kaufman voile in white.  I knew this fabric was super lightweight and super sheer, but I also knew that is exactly the type of shirt I would reach for in a store, perfect to layer over a cami!

Marigold Peplum :: Dandelion Drift Marigold Peplum :: Dandelion Drift

I made just a couple changes to Melissa’s pattern.  I french seamed all of the seams, you know, just so it looked nice and tidy inside and out!  (The above photo shows you the innards….pretty huh?)  I also omitted the elastic at the waist.  I wanted this to be a loose flow-y peplum.

Marigold Peplum :: Dandelion Drift

I love how this top turned out!  Here’s a quick glimpse at the details:

Pattern :: Marigold, size small

Fabric :: Robert Kaufman voile

Outfit Breakdown :: Marigold Peplum (Blank Slate Patterns), Jeans (Kut from the Kloth), Shoes (American Eagle)

Peek at My Week :: An Eight Year Old Party

Horse Birthday Party :: Dandelion Drift

This past week my baby turned eight.  I might just cry a little at how quickly he is growing up.  Bubba requested a horse birthday party, so we told him he could invite three friends to go on a trail ride.  We arrived at the trail riding ranch and played with the ponies while the grown ups filled out paperwork.  We walked around and looked at all of the horses in the stalls, and even saw a baby foal that was just a few days old.  As our horses were being saddled, we watched the cutest (and oldest) basset hound munch on fallen treats on the ground (his name is Elvis!).

Horse Birthday Party :: Dandelion Drift

It was a great Birthday party and a great trail ride.  Our horses were all sweet horses and our trail guide was very patient with our large spread out group.

Horse Birthday Party :: Dandelion Drift Horse Birthday Party :: Dandelion Drift

This whole growing up thing though, I know it is all apart of raising kids, but it gets harder and harder as these kids numbers keep getting bigger and bigger.  Each year, I say this age, this age is my favorite.  And you know what?  Each year, I love the age my kids are.  There are favorite snippets, favorite moments from each year, but I love seeing their personalities grow and the act of becoming who they are.
Bubba filled out a little questionnaire at the orthodontist the other day and I wanted to preserve some of his answers.

His favorite

  • movie is The Princes Bride
  • dessert is fried ice cream
  • drink is cream soda
  • food is chicken
  • color is blue

 

 

Work in Progress :: Big Project

I’ve been sewing for years.  Many, many years.  Ever since I was a kid.  And I love it.  And I love getting inspiration from others.  And I love sharing and helping inspire others to sew.  And this whole rambling thing is me trying to tell you about how I have made progress and grown in all of my sewing to where I am now.  And I want to keep growing.  So I’ve decided to work on designing a pattern….ahhh….a little crazy!

I’ve had this idea floating in my head for over a year now, and am finally growing the courage to start working on it and learning how to design patterns, how to grade patterns, how to do this all on software that I’ve never used before!  I first purchased a few books, and read all I could.  Then I decided I need to enroll in Lauren Dahl’s Pattern Workshop Creating PDF patterns from Sketch to Sale (affiliate link) and she is amazing.  She has been guiding me through learning illustrator and how to make my designs actually happen.  The things you can do in illustrator are mind boggling!  I was slow (it took me a whole year) to actually hit the buy button on Pattern Workshop, but I am so glad I did.  As a mom, it sometimes feels funny to spend money on yourself.  I often only buy things for myself if I need them.  But it feels so good to learn something new!

Swimsuit Fabric :: Dandelion Drift

Immediately when this whole designing a sewing pattern idea popped in my head, I knew right away it would be swimwear.  We live in swimsuits 12 months out of the year!  Swimming is like home to me, and my kiddos.  So I’m starting with a swimsuit pattern for my daughter and I have one in mind for myself too.  Swimsuits are easy to sew…if you can sew a tee shirt, or anything with knit fabric, you can sew a swimsuit!

Phew, okay, that’s all out there.  And now I’m shaking in my boots.  I’m making no promises on timelines for my first pattern.  My goal is end of spring or early summer, but we’ll see what life throws at me!

Okay, thanks for listening to my rambling, I’m super excited to keep learning and of course keep sewing!

Tutorial :: Chicken Zipper Pouch

Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

I have Easter on the brain, and little Easter animals on the brain, so I thought I’d share a cute chicken zipper pouch tutorial (and a bunny zipper pouch today over at Imagine Gnats)!  But first I have a little chicken story for you!

Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

We have lived in the same little town for about nine years now.  When we first moved in, we called the town to see if chickens were allowed, they weren’t.  We’re rule followers, so no chickens for us and our backyard!  Well, we called again a few weeks ago, and the rules have changed!  We are now allowed to have chickens!  So we are on the hunt for the perfect chicks and ready to build a coop in our yard!  Well, as perfect timing has it, our friend needed a chick babysitter for a couple of weeks, so we h ave a little trial run with six fluffy little chicks in our house!  We are enamored, and know we will be a little heartbroken when these chicks are ready to leave our house and live on the farm.  But we also will be ready and prepared for little fluffy chicks of our own!

Chicks :: Dandelion Drift

Okay, enough chicken stories.  I’m guessing you want to hear more about the tutorial.  It is super simple and only requires a few materials.  Grab a few scraps of fabric, a zipper, and print out the beak and comb template here.
1.  Select your outside and lining fabric and cut four 6 x 8 inch rectangles, two from your outside fabric (gray in my picture) and two in your lining fabric (yellow in my picture).Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift2.  On your outside fabric pieces, sew wings by just sewing a wing shape.  You can use a matching thread or contrasting thread, depending on what look you are going for.3.  Print out the beak and comb template and cut out three beaks and three combs, two in your outside fabric, and one in craft felt or quilt batting per beak and comb.

Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

4.  Let’s start with the beak.  Layer your beak with the two outside fabrics right sides together and then your craft felt (or batting) on top.  Sew around the two curved edges using 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving the bottom straight edge open.  Flip the beak right side out and iron.  Repeat the same steps for the comb.

Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

5.  Line your comb on one long side of one outside fabric piece, one inch in from the side.  Baste in place using a scant 1/4 inch seam.  Line your beak on the shorter side of your outside fabric two inches down from the top.  Baste in place using a scant 1/4 inch seam.

Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

6.  Now you are ready to sew on your zipper.  With your comb facing up, place your zipper on top of the comb, teeth facing down, lining the end of the zipper up with the edge of your rectangle.  Now place your lining fabric on top of your zipper, lining up your edges and pin in place.  Sew your zipper with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  To help you sew the zipper, it is helpful to put your needle in the down position, and move the zipper pull when you get close to it while sewing.  Flip your fabric right side out and iron.  Top stitch.

7.  Draw your chicken eyes with a sharpie on the both outside fabric pieces.  Repeat the zipper sewing steps with your remaining rectangles (the outside piece you just drew the face on, and the other lining piece) from step five above, moving the bunny ears out of the way!

Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

8.  Now that your zipper is installed on both sides, open it halfway, and line up your outside fabrics, right sides facing, and lining fabrics, right sides facing.  Sew around the perimeter of your pouch, using 1/2 inch seam allowance, leaving a 2 inch opening in the bottom of the lining fabric.  Make sure your beak is facing to the middle of the bag while you are sewing the perimeter.

9.  Pull your bag right side out through the opening in the lining.  Maneuver the lining so it is inside the zipper pouch.  Now hand stitch that opening closed and your bunny zipper pouch is done!

Chicken Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

Make sure to check out the bunny zipper pouch tutorial on Imagine Gnats.  Okay, I’m off to go admire these cute little fluffy house guests we have staying with us!

Bunny Zipper Pouch Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

 

 

Peek at My Week :: Disney World

Disney World :: Dandelion Drift

Our family has been so fortunate to hold annual passes to Disney for the past 10+ years.  We recently have been talking and decided to not renew our passes this year.  Life has become so busy, the kids are getting older, and we just thought it was time.  These annual passes were expiring on Monday of this week, so Josh and I decided we would surprise the kids and stay at a hotel for the weekend near Disney.

Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift

We sat Sweet Pea and Bubba down Thursday night to explain that we had a little surprise for them.  Sweet Pea immediately chimes in, “you’re pregnant!”  And then Bubba giggles and says “no, mama’s belly would be much bigger if there were a baby in there!”  No, we are not pregnant, but man did our weekend getaway surprise sound like a small surprise now!

Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift

Off to the hotel we went and we had such a great weekend.  We don’t get away often with just our family of four and it was so nice!  Josh and I walked away from the weekend saying that we need to do these little getaways more often!

Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift Disney World :: Dandelion Drift

If you’re wondering what all these animal pictures are, they are from Animal Kingdom, which has always been one of our favorite Disney parks.  We love rides, and we love parades, but Animal Kingdom just feels a little slower paced, a little less crowded, a little easier to enjoy!

Disney World :: Dandelion Drift

Our one last hurrah as annual pass holders was great!  We stayed up super late and enjoyed our days to the max!  And we have been super tired this week from all of our fun!